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The Colorful History Of The Chili Cook Off

by Steven Doyle

The first weekend in November over 10,000 people, fondly referred to as chili-heads, converge onto the tiny former mining town in the Texas desert called Terlingua. Each year at this time the town with a population of no more than a few dozen play host to two of the largest chili cook-offs in the world. That’s right, two.

It all  first began in 1967 and organized by Texas historian and chili aficionado Wick Fowler and car manufacturer Carroll Shelby as a means to settle a storied feud between two journalists; namely Frank X. Tolbert who wrote for the Dallas Morning News, and a gentleman by the name of   H. Allen Smith who wrote a scathing article in Holiday Magazine entitled “Nobody Knows More About Chili Than I Do”.    Continue reading

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Filed under Chili, Steven Doyle, Terlingua, Texas